School Competition and Student Outcomes

Authored by: Brian Gill , Kevin Booker

Handbook of Research in Education Finance and Policy

Print publication date:  November  2007
Online publication date:  August  2012

Print ISBN: 9780805861440
eBook ISBN: 9780203961063
Adobe ISBN: 9781135863890

10.4324/9780203961063.ch11

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Abstract

An entire section of this volume is devoted to issues related to school choice and educational privatization, including charter schools, the public funding of private schools, and educational management organizations that operate public schools under contract. Nonetheless, the use of market forces in education is an appropriate topic for this section as well, because market-based educational policies may affect the productive use of resources across the educational system. In particular, many supporters of market-based approaches believe that the competitive pressures they create will promote an increase in school productivity (see, e.g., Friedman, 1955; Chubb and Moe, 1990; Hoxby, 2000). If so, benefits might be seen not only by students enrolled in schools of choice (whether private, charter, or privately managed), but also by students who remain in conventional public schools and by taxpayers. At the same time, the adoption of market mechanisms in schooling raises questions about the extent to which schools operating under a competitive model will productively serve public as well as private purposes (see, e.g., Wells, 1993; Wolf and Macedo, 2004; Fiske and Ladd, 2000; Gill et al., 2001; Gutmann, 1987; Fuller, Elmore, and Orfield, 1996; Levin, 2000). How will competition affect the stratification of students across schools, by race, social class, and ability? Will privately operated schools effectively promote education in the knowledge, skills, and values needed for effective citizenship in a democracy?

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